When it comes to leading causes of death in the United States, heart disease lands at or near the top of the list every single year. Often dubbed the “silent killer,” the condition can manifest subtle symptoms. As such, healthcare providers must be especially diligent about identifying cardiac issues so they can administer the necessary treatment right away.
Unfortunately, even with all the most advanced diagnostic equipment, mistakes still can—and do—occur. If you had a heart attack that was either misdiagnosed as something else or overlooked entirely, you may be entitled to compensation.
In order to pursue a payout, though, you’ll have to demonstrate how the error occurred in the first place. Let’s take a look at some of the most common scenarios that can lead to a misdiagnosed heart attack:
1. Minor Symptoms
When a patient presents with minor symptoms that don’t appear to be life-threatening, the physician may not even test for cardiac issues. Just because you were not experiencing severe chest pain or shortness of breath, however, doesn’t mean your doctor didn’t have an obligation to perform a comprehensive exam.
2. Atypical Symptoms
A heart attack can manifest all kinds of symptoms, from nausea and vomiting to indigestion and abdominal pain. If none of the symptoms you presented are usually associated with cardiac events, you may be able to attribute the misdiagnosis to that simple fact.
3. Universally Applicable Symptoms
Sometimes, heart attacks manifest symptoms that are more commonly associated with other conditions. When this is the case and the physician fails to conduct any cardiac tests whatsoever, the event is inevitably misdiagnosed.
4. Normal EKG Activity
Generally speaking, doctors rely on electrocardiogram (EKG) machines to diagnose cardiac events. Depending on the circumstances, though, such equipment can actually display normal activity following a heart attack. When physicians fail to conduct further tests in these cases, misdiagnoses are inevitable.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Misdiagnosed?
If you did not receive timely treatment for a heart attack because of a diagnostic error, take the following steps as soon as possible to give your medical malpractice claim the best chance of success:
- Seek quality care elsewhere, and follow all medical advice diligently once you do;
- Write down everything you can remember about the incident in question, including the symptoms you experienced and your doctor’s response;
- Obtain a copy of all relevant medical records;
- Preserve documentation for all the expenses you’ve incurred as a result of the misdiagnosis;
- Adjust your social media accounts so only connections you approve can see what you post; and
- Consult a reputable personal injury attorney.
Call (727) 821-1500 to Discuss Your Case with a Florida Cardiac Misdiagnosis Attorney
At Emerson Straw, we’re committed to helping those who have been wronged. If you suffered serious complications after a doctor misdiagnosed a heart attack, we’ll help you pursue the compensation needed to put your life back together. Call (727) 821-1500 or complete our Contact Form to schedule a free case review with a cardiac misdiagnosis lawyer.